An executor is the person or company responsible for administering a decedent’s Will. Sometimes referred to as a personal representative, the decedent has the discretion in appointing a trustworthy person or company to administer his or her last Will and Testament. If you die without a Will, a court will appoint one on your behalf.
Your executor is entitled to receive a reasonable compensation based on the gross value of your estate. However, they may waive their compensation or commissions. Typically, banks and other financial institutions that offer professional services as executors will require the statutory amount for commissions.
Your spouse can serve as your executor and remain a beneficiary under your Will. If you want to appoint your spouse as the executor of your estate, and your spouse is also the sole beneficiary, your spouse can perform their own distribution of your estate as the sole surviving beneficiary and surviving spouse before paying all of your creditors because of their continuing personal liability to remain responsible for paying your creditors. Furthermore, they may not have to conduct a formal judicial accounting as the sole beneficiary and executor of your estate.
Check in with us tomorrow to read Part 2 of New York Law and Executor’s Rights and Duties.